I now reside in that  place in marriage where the heady thrill of supercharged romance has slipped inconspicuously into the past.  I find - contrary to what I may have expected as a novice 21-year-old first entering the institution - that I like it here best of all. 

It is now only the rare giddy thrill that  flashes through my days spent with this man.  Instead, I feel his love imbedded deep in my core, saturating and hydrating me.  There is such freedom to find in sharing life with someone who knows everything about you, including the very most horrible bits, and who still - despite this deep knowledge - chooses to love you anyway.  There is a profound and humbling comfort here. 

While the JoyBoy and I were dating, I remember thinking on many occasions, what if he knew  X about me?  or if he ever found Y out about me, he'd change his tune.  But over the years as each of these myriad X's and Y's came to light, I found that the knowledge of them only seemed to deepen our intimacy.  After a time, they were easy to share as he had laid such a foundation of acceptance.  I don't think anyone has ever loved me so patiently.

It's not all prune juice and roses, though.  Not by a country mile.  I'm married - I think I've mentioned - to an extremely dominant person.  Perhaps by now you've noticed that I too share this quality.  Alas, we are two people who almost always think that we are right.  This combination can sometimes ignite some explosively flamboyant fights.  So many times I find myself thinking, why can't this man just obey me?  I know that he's wondered the same thing himself about me on many occasions because he's told me so more than once.  And yet I know for certain that I'd truly hate it if he did.  I love that my life's partner is so stunningly proficient at standing up to me, though it ticks me off so ferociously at times.

As we grow older (and we do so at an alarming rate it seems), we grow just a bit wiser with each passing year and we choose our battles a little more judiciously.  We are inclined to be more generous with one another and it's slowly dawning on us both that sometimes the best thing to do is to just zip it.  I realize now that it's not a requirement of a healthy marriage that I agree with every word emitted from his beautiful mouth  - and vice versa.  We can disagree at times and not make a big stink about it.  This, while maybe seeming like a small thing to those less dominant among you, is a really big deal for us.  We are two people who like it best when everyone we know and love agrees with us on every. single. point.  And so this softening around our edges is welcome and good. 

It's good to have been married almost seventeen years.  I like this place; it's cosy here hanging with my best friend.


03/07/2011 3:15pm

Jenn, your Blog is becoming a bit of a morning ritual for me. Once the girls are out the door and I have a moment to settle with my coffee in hand, I check my emails and then read... thank you for starting my day on an uplifting note, you write beautifully and aren't afraid to expose your vulnerable bits. XOXO

Renee Ouellette
03/08/2011 9:13am

This is great! I was beginning to think your life was all bliss and prune juice (as you put it). this gives a real aspect of true life. that you can find ultimate bliss in Joyboy and yet also fight with him. i was beginning to think that there were never any struggles. My life, there are sometimes struggles, so I was finding it hard to relate to all your JOY. I'm so relieved to know there are struggles in your life, I can stop being envious. lol. What strikes me about your writing now is: even though you don't always see eye to eye with your husband, you still find joy in him.
My husband and I are coming to the same conclusion, that we don't always have to be right, we are different, so we are allowed to think differently. It's a really hard concept to master when two people are strong willed and dominant. I like your "zip it" comment, and that with age and experience, you begin to become wiser and softer. Well put jenn. i love how eloquently you can write about something that can be so mundane.

03/08/2011 2:07pm

as a 20-something year old newly married (3.5 years) wife, i love this post. I have been told MANY times that as we age, we too will grow apart and see how stupid we were for marrying in our early 20's. I have concluded that this is the opinion of those who are unhappily married, and wish to spread their miserable-ness with the world, for their poor decisions. So thank you for this post! I've witnessed the same thing in my parents marriage, and i love it. Agree to disagree, but still love wholeheartedly, with respect, and find the JOY that exists. Thanks Jen!

03/12/2011 8:57am

Apparently if you hit enter instead of tab you leave a comment without actually saying anything. Whoops!

While my hubs and I don't have the same "dominant" nature that you and yours do we fall into the same traps that our personalities foster.

Something I found so comforting and complete wholeness in, in our marriage, was about 8 years in when my husband looked at me very intently and stated, "I just want you to know, I'm not going anywhere."

Good or bad. Morning breath or perfume. Fanciful dinners or peanut butter sandwiches. It gave me a freedom to feel like I didn't have to live up to everyone else out there but that I could be exactly who I was, share what was on my heart, and reveal every lovely and icky part of of myself because we were in this together for the long haul.

I loved that moment. He had said it once already in our vows but that seemed different. This time he said it on just an ordinary Tuesday. It makes all the difference!


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